Ingham, Eaton Co. prosecutors determine future of pending marijuana cases

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INGHAM & EATON CO., Mich. (WLNS) – Recreational marijuana will soon be legal here in Michigan, which means those who already face charges associated with the drug may have a chance of getting them dropped.

As Tuesday’s election brought a big change to our state: being able to use recreational marijuana legally, our local prosecutors are determining what this means for those already facing marijuana related charges.

Both the Ingham and Eaton County prosecutors say they’re looking over the pending marijuana cases to see if the charges are worth pursuing or not.

But they say determining this is not as easy as it sounds because of the charges associated with each individual case.

“Ultimately the law is determined by the people,” said Ingham County chief assistant prosecutor Michael Cheltenham.

And the people spoke on Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana here in Michigan.

“We want to follow the letter of the law and we want to understand the spirit and the intent of the community when it comes to how these cases should be treated and handled,” said Cheltenham.

But what does that mean for those already facing marijuana related charges?

Cheltenham says that depends on a case to case basis, but his office is no longer accepting marijuana possession cases from police.

“We determined that going forward with these cases would not be worth the resources,” said Cheltenham.

Eaton County prosecutor Doug Lloyd says they’re looking at each individual case as well when it comes to possession of marijuana.

“I need to know the actual ounces amount and so that’s something that takes a little bit of time to actual take a look at each case that we may have out there,” said Lloyd.

But he says those facing marijuana related charges most likely have other charges against them as well.

“We’re not talking about the first time offender teenager, or the pothead who just got caught, we’re talking about individuals who were really bad,” said Lloyd.

So Lloyd says his office is currently working to see which cases need to be pursued and if any need to be dropped.    

“If it’s not a crime, then it’s not my responsibility to deal with that and so we’ve got to review it to make the determination to these if they’re charged now won’t be a crime in the next thirty days,” said Lloyd.

6 News also reached out to the Clinton and Jackson County prosecutors to see what they’re doing about this matter.

Clinton County officials say they have not yet made a decision and we’re still waiting to hear back from Jackson County.

Stay with 6 News as this story develops.

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